Know your rights versus your Home Owner's Association - WNCT

Know your rights versus your Home Owner's Association

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

We've all heard the horror stories of home owner's associations. Some are wonderful, others won't let you put a flower pot outside your front door.

After multiple Greenville homeowners complained to 9 On Your Side about their HOAs we wanted to know what rights you have if you don't like your HOA.

"We love living here and going into this four years ago, if we'd known this would have been an outcome, we wouldn't have bought a place out here," said JoAnna Wolfe, who lives in Forbes Woods.

Joanna and her husband Will Wolfe say hindsight is 20/20.

"We knew within the first two years that we wish we hadn't bought here because of the HOA," said Will Wolfe.

The Wolfes say their home owners association quickly became aggressive and seemed poorly managed. They say the HOA board increased their monthly fees at a rate they believe will decrease their home resell value.

"It's just one thing after another. Everybody has the same complaints," said Will.

Forbes Woods HOA President Mac Manning sees the situation differently.

"I've talked to some of the neighbors in passing and they're very supportive of what the board is doing," said Manning.

Manning says it's hard for homeowners to understand HOAs because the owners don't see the regular upkeep and issues facing a neighborhood.

"Who wants to pay more for anything? I don't either but when I'm sitting there with the board and we're discussing the business of the association, we have to do what's in the best interest of the association as a whole," said Manning.

As HOA living becomes more popular in our state, we asked property law expert Gary Davis what rights homeowners have under over-bearing HOAs.

"The homeowner may not have a lot he can do," said Davis, "There can be conflicts and there are procedures. The people who have the right to vote on the board can jump through the proper hoops to elect a new board if they don't like the one they've got."

Davis says, contrary to popular belief, an HOA is not the end-all-be-all; however, he says it does take a deep knowledge of the statutes and by-laws governing the neighborhood and getting a lawyer doesn't hurt.

That's exactly what the Wolfes did.

"They finally acknowledged the fourth request we had which was literally a signed petition with everybody saying we do want this special meeting and that there is enough support in this neighborhood to get what we're trying to do, done," said Will.

The Forbes Woods HOA put on a special meeting last night and residents successfully voted to re-elect new board members.

You can find more information on your rights has a homeowner here.

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